Margot Robbie had an 'American manicure' at the Oscars, but what is it?

The French manicure-inspired trend explained

BEAUTYcrew Beauty Editor / March 15 2023

Refined manicure trends have evolved a lot in the last year thanks to Hailey Bieber. She’s influenced us to adopt a host of nude nail polishes and endlessly pester our nail artist for Zola Ganzorigt’s signature glazed donut finish. 

But a new neutral nail trend has emerged from the cloud of chrome dust that characterised the nail trends of 2022.

The trend in question is called the ‘American’ manicure and it's a distant relative of the French manicure.

What is an American manicure?

Unlike the white tips synonymous with the French manicure, the American manicure defines the tip of the nail with a subtle nude hue. The entire nail is then coated in a sheer wash of pinky nude polish, which creates a subtle shadow of definition on the nail tip. 




The perfect example? Betina Goldstein utilised a subdued palette of refined neutrals to paint Margot Robbie’s almond-shaped nails for the 2023 Oscars. This is how she did it…

 How to nail the American manicure

1/ “Start off by defining the free edge [with a nude nail polish] and the Doublemoss Arte 2 Detailer Brush ($93 at Doublemoss Arte).” We recommend OPI Nail Envy in ‘Samoan Sand’ ($20.97 at Adore Beauty) as a believable dupe for the now discontinued Fall 2022 CHANEL LE VERNIS Longwear Nail Colour in ‘Harmonie’, which Goldstein used on Robbie for the Oscars.

OPI Nail Envy in ‘Samoan Sand’

CHANEL LE VERNIS Longwear Nail Colour in ‘Harmonie’

Doublemoss Arte 2 Detailer Brush

2/ “Then go over the entire nail with CHANEL LE VERNIS [Longwear Nail Colour] in ‘Ballerina’ ($43 at MYER) to add a veil over the tips.”

CHANEL LE VERNIS Longwear Nail Colour in ‘Ballerina’

3/ “Finish off with CHANEL LE GEL COAT [Longwear Top Coat] ($43 at David Jones) to protect and add glossy finish.

CHANEL LE GEL COAT Longwear Top Coat

Like to keep your finger on the pulse? These are the nail trends set to sweep salons in 2023.

Main image credit: @patidubroff

Briar Clark got her start in the media industry in 2017, as an intern for Marie Claire and InStyle. Since then, her keen interest in fashion and beauty has landed her gigs as a Digital Content Producer and Beauty Editor with titles like Girlfriend, Refinery29, BEAUTYcrew and beautyheaven. She loves the way seemingly innocuous topics like skin care and style have the ability to put a smile on people’s faces or make them think about themselves a little differently. A big believer in self love and experimentation, Briar has made a point of becoming the Australian beauty industry’s unofficial guinea pig for unusual treatments and daring hair trends. When she’s not testing out the latest beauty launches, Briar is big on broadening her horizons, mostly in the form of food but she’s also partial to travelling to new destinations both near and far (and of course, allocating an extra bag to bring their best beauty offerings home with her).